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No snoozing for this Aussie company

Capitalising on its “Australianness” has helped a leading mattress manufacturer expand its operations.

Sleepyhead is on the verge of opening its new $35 million manufacturing and distribution facility in Melbourne.

The state-of-the-art premises situated in Deer Park, in Melbourne’s West, will house its
first Australian foam plant, which is expected to be operational by November, as well as its Victorian bedding operation.

Sleepyhead General Manager Alastair McLaren says the opening of the new facility will create at least 20 new jobs.

“The development of the foam plant is the most significant we have ever undertaken in
Australia,’’ McLaren says.

“The huge threat of imports led us to reevaluate what we are about and what we do. We are constantly reassessing this and cross checking ourselves against import competition
but we know we can make a far superior product and contribute better to the economy
by staying Australian made.’’

Director Craig Turner says the foam plant will use environmentally friendly foam
manufacturing technology – DreamFoam – on a “much larger scale” than its $10 million
operation in Auckland, NZ.

Turner explains the high pressure CO2 technology used to produce the ployrethane foam eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, such as TDI and methylene chloride, resulting in the reduction of emissions.

“Sleepyhead’s investment and entry in to the foam market will have some very positive
effects on our business, our customers’ business, and the industry at large.’’

Meanwhile, the bedding operation will service the company’s NSW, SA, TAS and VIC bedding customers.

The manufacturer has been highlighting its Australianness by using the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo since 2004.

“We believe that by showing people that we are Australian made, it has moved our
company much further ahead than if we had  not embraced it,’’ McLaren says.

“Using the Australian Made logo helps to build trust with the consumers and automatically seems to ‘qualify’ us as a respectable, serious company that consumers can have confidence in.’’

A survey by Roy Morgan Research found that 94 per cent of Australian consumers recognise the green and gold symbol and, more importantly, 85 per cent trust it over any other country of origin identifiers, such as flags, maps and pictures of animals.

AMAG Chief Executive Ian Harrison applauded the family-owned business for its continued investment in the nation’s economy.

“The AMAG logo has been helping manufacturers, like Sleepyhead, promote the fact their products are made right here, by Australians and to Australia’s high standards
for almost 25 years,’’ Harrison says.

“Research by the Industry Capability Network shows that every $1 million spent in the
manufacturing sector generates 10 full times jobs; more than $330,000 in tax revenue and almost $100,000 in welfare benefits.

“Sleepyhead’s growth exemplifies these follow on benefits. By embracing its Australianness, Sleepyhead has made a key point of difference over its competitors and it has paid off, which is tremendous news for the company.

“I encourage all Australian manufacturers to register to use the logo to effectively brand
their products Australian, drive sales and help consumers identify them.’’

For registration details visit: www.australianmade.com.au

Only products which are registered with AMAG and meet the criteria set out in the AMAG logo’s Code of Practice can use the logo.